Google's Latest "Freshness" Algorithm To Affect 35% of Searches

Google announced the freshness algorithm update this morning. It’s intended purpose is to provide the best results for the most recent information you’re seeking.

This algorithm update follows several Panda updates and last year’s caffeine update, which focused on the speed of indexing new content.

If I search for [olympics], I probably want information about next summer’s upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics (the only time my favorite sport, cricket, was played). Google Search uses a freshness algorithm, designed to give you the most up-to-date results, so even when I just type [olympics] without specifying 2012, I still find what I’m looking for.

Las Vegas Freshness SERPSSeveral searches appear as normal, in my quick review. One that stands out is a search for Las Vegas (We’re attending Pubcon next week). It shows a few more universal search components (maps, images, news, etc.). One another unrelated search, I noticed that Google+ Circle information is beginning to appear next to a picture of those in my circles.

As social indicators and author rank continue to be of interest, we see the correlation of people and their interests rollout as important search factors within Google. Bing, as the decision engine, seems to be lagging behind in this space but I’m expecting more in 2012. Just a gut feel at this point.

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  1. Edmund Umbao says

    This is a good news especially for us who keeps on updating our blogsite on a daily bases. A good idea for freshness will always satisfy our readers

  2. Ash Buckles says

    @Edmund — I agree. Creating unique, fresh content has been a strong recommendation from me for several years now.

  3. Eliseo V says

    Thanks to the freshness factor a blog that is not well-ranked for a specific keyword, can have it's 15 minutes of glory and rank at the top when making a new post.

    • Ash Buckles says

      I don't believe dates are required. Google knows when new information is discovered. The interest around that time helps to know whether something in brand-new. Either way, if fresh additions are made, it's considered fresh. This also means that active pages, with new content published regularly with links and shares, Google will take notice and adjust accordingly.

  4. Gregg says

    So, with this latest update, it seems like Google is really starting to favor fresh content. I think this is a good move as it will help people who are currently blogging vs just having an old page that ranks well.

    • Ash Buckles says

      Blogging is so important for freshness reasons, among reasons for building community, generating interest for new ideas/produccts, and building a resource within your site that others will link to and reference.

  5. Mark Simons says

    Hi Ash,
    Seeing as these "fresh" results will apply mainly to QDF (query deserves freshness) searches, is there any rule of thumb we can use to see what phrases will qualify as QDF?
    My guess is Google will be monitoring RSS feeds to see if there is a spike in output for certain phrases and then apply the QDF part of the algorithm to those who seem to qualify.
    Cheers, Mark

  6. Jas says

    Hi Ash,
    This "freshness" factor will defn create a better user experiance. Myself and I suppose most other users are looking for fresh results when searching for a vague term such as [olympics]. Otherwise users would search a more exact keyphrase [1990 olympics].

  7. Naveen says

    It would be interesting to note the extent to which freshness algorithm will be effective. While the real events or news stories would be expectedly featuring higher, the rankings of the sites which have regular updation, say through blogs, might not be that effective for rankings. Already many companies are doing the same and in good quantity. 

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